[Insurance Commissioner Matter No. R 2021-16—Filed April 11, 2022, 12:02 p.m., effective May 12, 2022]
Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.
Purpose: The commissioner is adopting rules to implement E2SHB 1477 concerning access to next day appointments required in the legislation. This rule is also being used to consolidate rule making to ensure that rules related to recently enacted legislation that also amend WAC 284-170-280 are adopted by the office of insurance commissioner. These rules will facilitate implementation of recent laws by ensuring that all affected health care entities understand their rights and obligations.
Citation of Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 284-170-280.
Adopted under notice filed as WSR 22-05-042 on February 8, 2022.
A final cost-benefit analysis is available by contacting Shari Maier, P.O. Box 40260, Olympia, WA 98504-0260, phone 360-725-7173, email Shari.Maier@oic.wa.gov.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted at the Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's own Initiative: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Number of Sections Adopted using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.
Date Adopted: April 11, 2022.
(1) An issuer must submit its provider network materials to the commissioner for approval prior to or at the time it files a newly offered health plan.
(a) For individual and small groups, the submission must occur when the issuer submits its plan under WAC 284-43-0200. For groups other than individual and small, the submission must occur when the issuer submits a new health plan and as required in this section.
(b) The commissioner may extend the time for filing for good cause shown.
(c) For plan year 2015 only, the commissioner will permit a safe harbor standard. An issuer who can not meet the submission requirements in (((e) and (f) of this)) subsection (3)(f) and (g) of this subsection will be determined to meet the requirements of those subsections even if the submissions are incomplete, provided that the issuer:
(i) Identifies specifically each map required under subsection (3)(((e)))(f) (i) of this section, or Access Plan component required under subsection (3)(((f)))(g) of this section, which has not been included in whole or part;
(ii) Explains the specific reason each map or component has not been included; and
(iii) Sets forth the issuer's plan to complete the submission, including the date(s) by which each incomplete map and component will be completed and submitted.
(2) Unless indicated otherwise, the issuer's reports must be submitted electronically and completed consistent with the posted submission instructions on the commissioner's website, using the required formats.
(3) For plan years beginning January 1, 2015, an issuer must submit the following specific documents and data to the commissioner to document network access:
(a) Provider Network Form A. An issuer must submit a report of all participating providers by network.
(i) The Provider Network Form A must be submitted for each network being reviewed for network access. A network may be used by more than one plan.
(ii) An issuer must indicate whether a provider is an essential community provider as instructed in the commissioner's Provider Network Form A instructions.
(iii) An issuer must submit an updated, accurate Provider Network Form A on a monthly basis by the 5th of each month for each network and when a material change in the network occurs as described in subchapter B.
(iv) Filing of this data satisfies the reporting requirements of RCW 48.44.080
and the requirements of RCW 48.46.030
relating to filing of notices that describe changes in the provider network.
(b) Provider directory certification. An issuer must submit at the time of each Provider Network Form A submission a certification that the provider directory posted on the issuer's website is specific to each plan, accurate as of the last date of the prior month. A certification signed by an officer of the issuer must confirm that the provider directory contains only providers and facilities with which the issuer has a signed contract that is in effect on the date of the certification.
(c) 988 Crisis Hotline Appointment Form D report. For health plans issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2023, issuers must make next day appointments available to enrollees experiencing urgent, symptomatic behavioral health conditions to receive covered behavioral health services. Beginning on January 7, 2023, issuers must submit a report that will document their health plans' compliance with next day appointment access, including a count of enrollee appointments available for urgent, symptomatic behavioral health care services.
(i) The report is due on the dates published on the office of the insurance commissioner's website and will be set each calendar year. The office of the insurance commissioner will publish the first reporting date by December 1, 2022, and by each December 1st thereafter. The reporting time frame will be no more frequent than weekly and no less often than twice yearly.
(ii) The report must contain all data items shown in and conform to the format of the 988 Crisis Hotline Appointment Form D report prescribed by and available from the commissioner.
(iii) The report must reflect information from any sources available at the time the reporting is completed including, but not limited to:
(A) All requests the issuer has received from any source including, but not limited to, an enrollee, their provider, or a crisis call center hub;
(B) The issuer's claims data; and
(C) The behavioral health crisis call center system platform and the behavioral health integrated client referral system, once those are established and providing real-time information relevant to the coordination of behavioral health crisis response and suicide prevention services, as provided in chapter 71.24 RCW, and that information is accessible to the issuer. (iv) For purposes of this report, urgent symptomatic behavioral health condition has the same meaning as described in RCW 48.43.790 or as established by the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act of 2020 and federal communications rules adopted July 16, 2020.
(d)Network Enrollment Form B. The Network Enrollment Form B report provides the commissioner with an issuer's count of total covered lives for the prior year, during each month of the year, for each health plan by county.
(i) The report must be submitted for each network as a separate report. The report must contain all data items shown in and conform to the format of Network Enrollment Form B prescribed by and available from the commissioner.
(ii) An issuer must submit this report by March 31st of each year.
(((d)))(e)Alternate Access Delivery Request Form C. For plan years that begin on or after January 1, 2015, alternate access delivery requests must be submitted when an issuer's network meets one or more of the criteria in WAC 284-170-200 (15)(a) through (d). Alternate access delivery requests must be submitted to the commissioner using the Alternate Access Delivery Request Form C.
(i) The Alternate Access Delivery Request Form C submission must address the following areas, and may include other additional information as requested by the commissioner:
(A) A description of the specific issues the alternate access delivery system is intended to address, accompanied by supporting data describing how the alternate access delivery system ensures that enrollees have reasonable access to sufficient providers and facilities, by number and type, for covered services;
(B) A description and schedule of cost-sharing requirements for providers that fall under the alternate access delivery system;
(C) The issuer's proposed method of noting on its provider directory how an enrollee can access provider types under the alternate access delivery system;
(D) The issuer's marketing plan to accommodate the time period that the alternate access delivery system is in effect, and specifically describe how it impacts current and future enrollment and for what period of time;
(ii) Provider Network Form A and Network Enrollment Form B submissions are required in relation to an alternate access delivery system on the basis described in subsections (1) and (2) of this section.
(iii) If a network becomes unable to meet the network access standards after approval but prior to the health product's effective date, an alternate access delivery request must include a timeline to bring the network into full compliance with this subchapter.
(((e)))(f)Geographic Network Reports.
(i) The geographic mapping criteria outlined below are minimum requirements and will be considered in conjunction with the standards set forth in WAC 284-170-200 and 284-170-310. One map for each of the following provider types must be submitted:
(A) Hospital and emergency services. Map must identify provider locations, and demonstrate that each enrollee in the service area has access within thirty minutes in an urban area and sixty minutes in a rural area from either their residence or workplace to general hospital facilities including emergency services.
(B) Primary care providers. Map must demonstrate that eighty percent of the enrollees in the service area have access within thirty miles in an urban area and sixty miles in a rural area from either their residence or workplace to a primary care provider with an open practice. The provider type selected must have a license under Title 18
RCW that includes primary care services in the scope of license.
(C) Mental health and substance use disorder providers. For general mental health providers, such as licensed psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and mental health nurse practitioners, the map must demonstrate that eighty percent of the enrollees in the service area have access to a mental health provider within thirty miles in an urban area and sixty miles in a rural area from either their residence or workplace. For specialty mental health providers and substance use disorder providers, the map must demonstrate that eighty percent of the enrollees have access to the following types of service provider or facility: Evaluation and treatment, voluntary and involuntary inpatient mental health and substance use disorder treatment, outpatient mental health and substance use disorder treatment, and behavioral therapy. If one of the types of specialty providers is not available as required above, the issuer must propose an alternate access delivery system to meet this requirement.
(D) Pediatric services. For general pediatric services, the map must demonstrate that eighty percent of the covered children in the service area have access to a pediatrician or other provider whose license under Title 18
RCW includes pediatric services in the scope of license. This access must be within thirty miles in an urban area and sixty miles in a rural area of their family or placement residence. For specialty pediatric services, the map must demonstrate that eighty percent of covered children in the service area have access to pediatric specialty care within sixty miles in an urban area and ninety miles in a rural area of their family or placement residence. The pediatric specialty types include, but are not limited to, nephrology, pulmonology, rheumatology, hematology-oncology, perinatal medicine, neurodevelopmental disabilities, cardiology, endocrinology, and gastroenterology.
(E) Specialty services. An issuer must provide one map for the service area for specialties found on the American Board of Medical Specialties list of approved medical specialty boards. The map must demonstrate that eighty percent of the enrollees in the service area have access to an adequate number of providers and facilities in each specialty. Subspecialties are subsumed on the map.
(F) Therapy services. An issuer must provide one map that demonstrates that eighty percent of the enrollees have access to the following types of providers within thirty miles in an urban area and sixty miles in a rural area of their residence or workplace: Chiropractor, rehabilitative service providers and habilitative service providers.
(G) Home health, hospice, vision, and dental providers. An issuer must provide one map that identifies each provider or facility to which an enrollee has access in the service area for home health care, hospice, vision, and pediatric oral coverage, including allied dental professionals, dental therapists, dentists, and orthodontists.
(H) Covered pharmacy dispensing services. An issuer must provide one map that demonstrates the geographic distribution of the pharmacy dispensing services within the service area. If a pharmacy benefit manager is used by the issuer, the issuer must establish that the specifically contracted pharmacy locations within the service area are available to enrollees through the pharmacy benefit manager.
(I) Essential community providers. An issuer must provide one map that demonstrates the geographic distribution of essential community providers, by type of provider or facility, within the service area. This requirement applies only to qualified health plans as certified in RCW 43.71.065
(ii) Each report must include the provider data points on each map, title the map as to the provider type or facility type it represents, include the network identification number the map applies to, and the name of each county included on the report.
(iii) For plan years beginning January 1, 2015, and every year thereafter, an issuer must submit reports as required in subsection (1) of this section to the commissioner for review and approval, or when an alternate access delivery request is submitted.
(((f)))(g)Access Plan. An issuer must establish an access plan specific to each product that describes the issuer's strategy, policies, and procedures necessary to establishing, maintaining, and administering an adequate network.
(i) At a minimum, the issuer's policies and procedures referenced in the access plan must address:
(A) Referral of enrollees out-of-network, including criteria for determining when an out-of-network referral is required or appropriate;
(B) Copayment and coinsurance determination standards for enrollees accessing care out-of-network;
(C) Standards of accessibility expressed in terms of objectives and minimum levels below which corrective action will be taken, including the proximity of specialists and hospitals to primary care sources, and a method and process for documentation confirming that access will not result in delay detrimental to health of enrollees;
(D) Monitoring policies and procedures for compliance, including tracking and documenting network capacity and availability;
(E) Standard hours of operation, and after-hours, for prior authorization, consumer and provider assistance, and claims adjudication;
(F) Triage and screening arrangements for prior authorization requests;
(G) Prior authorization processes that enrollees must follow, including the responsibilities and scope of use of nonlicensed staff to handle enrollee calls about prior authorization;
(H) Specific procedures and materials used to address the needs of enrollees with limited-English proficiency and literacy, with diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds, and with physical and mental disabilities;
(I) Assessment of the health status of the population of enrollees or prospective enrollees, including incorporation of the findings of local public health community assessments, and standardized outcome measures, and use of the assessment data and findings to develop network or networks in the service area;
(J) For gender affirming treatment:
(I) Standards of accessibility expressed in terms of objectives and minimum levels below which corrective action will be taken, including the proximity of gender affirming treatment services to primary care sources, and a method and process for documentation confirming that access will not result in delay detrimental to health of enrollees; and
(II) Monitoring policies and procedures for compliance, including tracking and documenting network capacity and availability;
(K) Notification to enrollees regarding personal health information privacy rights and restrictions, termination of a provider from the network, and maintaining continuity of care for enrollees when there is a material change in the provider network, insolvency of the issuer, or other cessation of operations;
(((K)))(L) Issuer's process for corrective action for providers related to the provider's licensure, prior authorization, referral and access compliance. The process must include remedies to address insufficient access to appointments or services; and
(M) The process for ensuring access to next day appointments for urgent, symptomatic behavioral health conditions.
(ii) An access plan applicable to each product must be submitted with every Geographic Network Report when the issuer seeks initial certification of the network, submits its annual rate filing to the commissioner for review and approval, or when an alternative access delivery request is required due to a material change in the network.
(iii) The current access plan, with all associated data sets, policies and procedures, must be made available to the commissioner upon request, and a summary of the access plan's associated procedures must be made available to the public upon request.
(4) For purposes of this section, "urban area" means:
(a) A county with a density of ninety persons per square mile; or
(b) An area within a twenty-five mile radius around an incorporated city with a population of more than thirty thousand.